Greene County News Report
YELLOW SPRINGS – Glen Helen Preserve, a popular recreational destination and environmental education facility owned by Antioch College, has been permanently protected, as announced last week by The Trust for Public Land, Antioch College, Tecumseh Land Trust, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service and Ohio Public Works Commission.
A final conservation easement was secured Friday, ensuring the wooded glen near Yellow Springs, Ohio will forever be preserved and open to the public.
“The Antioch College trustees made it a priority to see to it that Glen Helen was permanently protected,” Nick Boutis, director of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute, said. “Everyone whose lives have been shaped by their time in Glen Helen can rest assured that the preserve is now safe and secure.”
Glen Helen was established in 1929 when Antioch alumnus Hugh Taylor Birch donated the land to the College in memory of his daughter, Helen Birch Bartlett. The preserve’s 20-mile network of footpaths connects visitors with wildflowers, 400 year-old trees, limestone cliffs with waterfalls and overhangs as well as the yellow spring for which the nearby village is named. In 2011, The Trust for Public Land reached an agreement to help Antioch College permanently protect the nearly-thousand-acre glen, which includes a section of the Little Miami River and two of its major tributaries.
“For decades, Glen Helen has shaped the lives of Antioch College students, Miami Valley residents and Ohioans far and wide,” Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt said. “This conservation easement ensures that future generations will also have the opportunity to be personally enriched by Glen Helen’s splendors.”
The conservation easements completed today protect the entire 973 acres of the preserve. Funding for these two easements included $940,650 from the Clean Ohio Fund, $100,000 from the Village of Yellow Springs and $39,034 from the Glen Helen Association. Also included is $567,500 from the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.
“Glen Helen is a great destination and an important natural classroom for environmental education,” Pam Carson, The Trust for Public Land’s Ohio state director said.
The sales of the two easements and the covenant support the land stewardship and environmental learning programs of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute. A previous protective conversation easement on 563 acres of the riparian corridor was completed in February 2013 for $1.2 million, using funding from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Restoration Resource Sponsorship Program and The Upper River Fund. The Tecumseh Land Trust will have responsibility for monitoring these easements on an ongoing basis.
“The Ohio Public Works Commission is pleased to participate in the forever protection of such a magnificent property,” said Michael Miller, Ohio Public Works Commission director.
“There is no greater treasure here than Glen Helen,” said Land Trust Executive Director Krista Magaw. “It is the ecological and spiritual anchor for our Miami Valley. It’s an honor to do our part to protect it, for today and for our future generations.”
Story courtesy of Glen Helen.